There was a joint press conference held today in Taipei, Taiwan between Microsoft and NVIDIA, showcasing the new NVIDIA Ion platform for netbooks/nettops and other ultraportable or low-power devices. It was hosted by NVIDIA’s general managers for their MCP and notebook business units, and involved Microsoft’s Senior Director for OEMs and Senior Manager for the Windows client business group. It was announced that the Ion platform (NVIDIA’s GeForce 9400M graphics chipset and Intel’s Atom CPU) has been officially certified by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows Vista Premium.
NVIDIA also showed off the Ion running Microsoft Windows 7. Existing chipsets (namely the Intel 945G) do not fully support DirectX 10 and other graphics features, while the Ion platform/chipset is able to handle them very well. In fact, the demonstration involved running a full 1080p move in the background while NVIDIA was giving the Powerpoint demonstration. They also described being able to encode/transcode video in the background while watching HD video. They also demonstrated “Left 4 Dead” running in 720p video (the game is very graphics-intensive).
The NVIDIA representatives described Windows 7 as: “very stable, excellent, and reliable, operating system, and we are excited to have Ion platforms with Windows 7 on the marketplace sometime this year”.
NVIDIA mentioned that an Ion-based computer would be available sometime this spring, however it would not be a netbook/ultraportable. Instead, it was going to be a desktop computer (actually a nettop).
They also addressed over the blurring of lines between what people consider to be a netbook and where it becomes a full notebook/laptop, saying:
“What many people call a ‘netbook’ today is really a small notebook, and users expect it to perform like one. With NVIDIA’s Ion platform combined with Windows Vista Home Premium, consumers can get an affordable, premium Windows experience in a small notebook or desktop form factor”